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FB Roundup: Lotte, Henkel, and VW

Lotte second-gen summoned to prosecutors’ office; Henkel buys Sun Products for €3.2 billion; and Volkswagen to pay $14.7 billion settlement

Lotte second-gen summoned to prosecutors’ office

Shin Young-ja, the chairwoman of the Lotte Scholarship Foundation, appeared at the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office today over allegations that she received bribes.

The 74-year-old is accused of accepting bribes from the former chief of cosmetics brand Nature Republic in exchange for store space in Lotte’s duty-free outlets.

According to AsiaOne Business, Shin received up to 1.5 billion won ($1.28 million) in bribes from former Nature Republic CEO Jung Woon-ho through BNP Trading, a retail consulting company owned by her son.

Second-gen Shin Young-ja is the first person from Lotte’s founding family to be summoned since a record-scale probe into the chaebol kicked off in June.

"I will humbly co-operate with the prosecution and answer all questions with sincerity. I am sorry," Shin Young-ja told reporters.

Shin Kyuk-ho founded Lotte in Japan in 1948 as a snack maker, but entered Korea in 1967 and has grown the business to be the country's fifth-largest conglomerate.

Henkel buys Sun Products for €3.2 billion

German consumer goods maker Henkel AG & Company, led by the eponymous family since 1876, has acquired US laundry group Sun Products Corporation from Vestar Capital Partners in a €3.2 billion ($3.6 billion) deal.

The deal is the first big move by Hans van Bylen, Henkel’s new chief executive, and comes a year after the German group lost out P&G’s hair care business.

“North America is one of the most important regions for us worldwide,” he told the Financial Times. “With the acquisition of Sun Products we will improve our position in the US, the world’s largest laundry care market, and Canada.”

Fifth-generation Henkel reported revenues of €16.4 billion ($17.9 billion) in 2015.

Volkswagen to pay $14.7 billion settlement

Family-controlled carmaker Volkswagen has agreed to pay $14.7 billion to settle its diesel cheating scandal and to buy back cars from consumers at pre-scandal prices, according to the US Department of Justice.

When announcing the agreement, deputy attorney general Sally Yates said the emissions scandal constituted “the most flagrant violations of our consumer and environmental laws in our country’s history.”

The $14.7 billion settlement constitutes $10 billion for the 500,000 Americans affects and $2.7 billion to be paid to the Environmental Protection Agency. A further $2 billion will be used for investment in zero-emission vehicles.

The third-generation family business reported 2015 first half revenues of €109 billion ($120 billion).


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